It had to be a rather rude awakening to be sure—Paul’s initial introduction to the unenviable life of an apostle.
As we will learn in this PODCAST, there is much—much more than we could possibly imagine—behind Paul’s otherwise enigmatic statement in 1 Corinthians 4:9, a rare moment of personal reflection (and dare-I-say exasperation and frustration) in the writings of this most-prolific apostle:
“I sometimes think God has put us apostles on display, like prisoners of war at the end of a victor’s parade, condemned to die. We have become a spectacle to the entire world—to people and angels alike.”
Well, here in Acts 9, the Apostle to us Gentiles endured quite the humiliating spectacle indeed.
It was hardly the homecoming our new friend, the Apostle Paul, had anticipated as he entered archway in the main gate leading to Straight Street in Damascus.
Was his heart all a-flutter? Mine would have been.
After a three-year absence from its legendary landscape, his formal training as an apostle now complete. I have to believe that Saul-now-Paul had much upon which he would have liked to reflect.
- Perhaps a quiet, private, personal rendezvous with the spot on the road where he first met Jesus?
- Maybe a knock on the door of Judas’ house, where he was graciously housed for three days as a man-struck-blind?
- How about cup of Turkish coffee with Ananias, the man tasked with, and understandably fearful of, being first follower of Jesus to approach just-converted Saul?
- Possibly some visits to the synagogues where he first preached, “Jesus is indeed the Son of God”?
Paul’s heart had to be pitter-pattering with excited anticipation as he once-again approached the storied city.
But alas. A happy homecoming wasn’t in cards that fate dealt this soon-to-be-suffering servant of Jesus.
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God bless you richly as you listen.